For every bird that you see or hear today, or that ever flew over earth. Peace & Love. —Chagall

Alphabet City

chagall backdrop
Lazy birds sing what sound to be questions,
Trilly lilts angled so oddly in time.

Shush. Hear the hurrahs?
Winds schuss a course of boughs.

Waves atop etchings on sand
Erase traces of what once was.

Beyond, there come the loggers,
Mechanical, Om-like, spun chorales,
Mantra for flat-felled forests:
Erase traces of what was once.

I rush the treeline insanely
Unable to draw enough air
To support the bellow I want to import,
The reply I want to thunder.

To the wood pigeon, grand thrush, paradise parrot,
the heath hen and laughing owl,
the parakeet, grebe and island rail,
piopio, Kauaʻi ʻŌʻō . . .

My chest heaves, I’m a front-row mourner.
Hot eyelids strand gummed tears.
I see the world through rainbows
Cleaved cleanly through
My optic nerve.

I purse my lips, find the bird call in me,
Arpeggiate soulful lament
Cleanly without glissando.

I beg:
Take heed – just…

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